Vibrations_Spring_08 by yantingting


                                                                  Ka whakapä, Ka whakapiri, Ka tutuki
                                                                  Communicating, living, achieving

   The National Foundation for the Deaf Inc.                                                                                        2008

                                                                Listen LOUD
                                                                and LOSE it                                      DEAF AWARENESS WEEK
                                                                                                                 22-28 SEPTEMBER 2008

                                                                A startling new survey
                                                                conducted by the NFD shows
                                                                nearly half of New Zealand’s
                                                                young people have potentially
                                                                damaged their hearing by the
                                                                time they reach age 25.
                                                                    Used to having a choice of
                                                                when and where they enjoy
                                                                their music, Generation Y are
                                                                blasting their ears for the
                                                                greater part of every day on
                                                                iPods, car stereos and laptops.
                                                                    Health professionals are starting to see the kind of hearing loss
                                                                in younger people typically found in aging adults, says Wellington
                                                                                                 Hospital audiology team leader
                                                               “You only get one set Sargunam Sivaraj.
                                                               of ears to last your                 “Today hearing loss is one of the
                                                                                                 leading and fastest growing serious
                                                               whole life so you need disabilities in our modern society,”
                                                               to treat them right.”             Mr Sivaraj says, with one third of all
                                                                                                 types of hearing loss attributable to
                                                                exposure to excessive noise and loud music.
                                                                    Mr Sivaraj warns that our ears are not created to cope with
                                                                loud noises. “You only get one set of ears to last your whole life
                                                                so you need to treat them right.”
                                                                    It is not just the volume that music is being listened to but the
                                                                number of hours that is causing the damage. 85dB for 8 hours a day
                                                                is deemed a safe limit but turn that up by just 3dB, and you need
       To see more on DEAF                                      to drop the exposure time by half, i.e. four hours to keep within a
       AWARENESS WEEK and                                       healthy range of exposure. So listening to 95dB would be safe for
       New Zealand musicians’                                   about 30 minutes per day. A concert can get as loud as 120dB.
                                                                    Hearing loss can greatly affect education, employment and it
       views on protecting their hearing,                       can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life through
       go to NFD’s Bebo page at                                 impaired communication and social isolation.                                   But a devil-may-care attitude rules many of the 18-25 year
                                                                olds surveyed who have already experienced symptoms of
                                                                hearing damage.                                           continued inside

NFD 205 Parnell Rd, Parnell, Auckland 1052
PO Box 37729, Parnell, Auckland 1151 Phone / TTY 09 307 2922    To donate: Cheques made payable to the National Foundation for the
or 0800 867 446 Fax 09 307 2923 or 0800 332 343                 Deaf Inc. can be posted to the NFD, PO Box 37729, Parnell, Auckland 1151.
Email Web
                          The National Foundation for the Deaf Inc.

                The disturbing new survey
                 from the NFD shows that

                  nearly half of New Zealand ’s
                   youth have suffered some
                   hearing damage by the
                    time they reach age 25.

                       This Deaf Awareness
                     Week we really want
                to drive the message home
to 18-25 year olds that listening to music
is great but not so loud and not so long.
We have talked to a number of musicians           The t-shirts are
who are in their 20s that already have            available to buy for $30.
permanent damage to their hearing                 Email
because of prolonged exposure to loud
noise and it is with their support that
we will take our messages to young
music lovers.
    One unhealthy trend that was highlighted
by our research was that 18-25 year olds
are listening to music for many hours
every day – a frightening 12% listen to
music for 8 to12 hours per day!                   Noise pollution
    If we can educate this age group
about the importance of looking after
their hearing and get them to turn down
the volume, even slightly, then we will
                                                    – making us sick
have made a difference in the long term.          Traffic, noisy neighbours, building noise, leaf blowers, trucks,
Otherwise in 20 years time, there is              buses, booming car stereo systems – are just a few of the
going to be a heavy burden laid at the            culprits polluting our lives and making us sick.
audiologists’ doors.                                  We’ve known for decades that super-loud sound can deafen
    During Deaf Awareness Week watch
out for a great television commercial             us. But damaged hearing is just the beginning. A plane flying
and print advertising campaign done by            overhead or a snoring bed-mate can increase blood pressure and
advertising agency, DDB. Once again they          heart rate and send stress hormones surging into the bloodstream.
have generously donated their time and                This chain of events can create health problems when it happens
creativity to develop some wonderful              all night long, every night of the week. The ability of children to learn
work. We have published two of the                is compromised by noise and it may worsen some mental illnesses.
advertisements from the campaign in                   George Dodd of the New Zealand Acoustical Society says recorded
this issue which alerts people to the fact        noise complaints in Auckland and Christchurch have clearly risen over
that everyday sounds can be harmful at            the last 2-3 years with the growth in numbers not able to be explained
prolonged and high volumes.                       simply by our increase in population. Statistics are mostly around noisy
    We will also be working with other            neighbours – their TVs and other home entertainment systems, children
member groups and hearing sector
professions to uncover relevant stories           and barking dogs.
with which to target key news media.                  “A factor may well be that we are seeing a societal increase in self-
    I am very excited about what we have          centredness and less caring for, and taking less responsibility towards
lined up for this year’s Deaf Awareness           one’s neighbours. It’s my concern too that our housing (especially
Week and it promises to be our best yet.          apartments and townhouses) is simply not built to standards which are
    I would like to finish with a thank           sufficient to cope with the sound levels that are part of modern living.”
you to Southern Trust for their generous              On one hand there is industrial noise and leisure activity noise, such
support of this issue of Vibrations.
I do hope you enjoy reading it.
Warm wishes
Marianne Schumacher                                  “When you stumble, keep faith. And, when
Executive Manager
                                                     you’re knocked down, get right back up and
 This issue of Vibrations was produced with          never listen to anyone who says you can’t or
  the kind assistance of The Southern Trust
                                                     shouldn’t go on.”           H I L L A RY C L I N T O N
A group of enterprising Gisborne high school students are                   “The t-shirts illustrate that turning up your music
hoping ‘wearing it loud’ will help turn down the volume                 to 11 in order to party hard will come at a cost,” says
among their peers and protect their hearing.                            Loud Fashion managing director Keegan Platten.
   As part of the modern generation of iPod listeners,                      Keegan says the group believes hearing protection is
the four Campion College business studies students have                 a vital issue for young New Zealanders because of the
created a business to make money and raise awareness of                 popularity of iPods and Mp3 players and the perceived
the permanent damage that long exposure to loud music                   ‘uncoolness’ of listening sensibly.
can cause.                                                                  “We know that many younger people, especially teens,
   T-shirts printed with “Loud Fashion” and a large                     aren’t limiting or monitoring the volume that they’re
volume dial going from One to Deaf will be sold by the                  listening to music players. As teenagers ourselves, we
group at a stall in the Gisborne township as part of their              hope that by selling these t-shirts we can get the message
business studies course criteria. A portion of the                      across that there are real, severe consequences to high
proceeds will be donated to the NFD.                                    levels of noise.”

                                                                        Amsterdam were more likely to need sleep medication,
                                                                        take pills for heart disease and high blood pressure and
                                                                        report poor general health.
                                                                            In New Zealand we are continuously exposed to new
                                                                        sources of noise. For example we are beginning to see
                                                                        more wind turbine generators being built to make use
                                                                        of the renewable energy source, however their potential
                                                                        for significant noise annoyance is a concern for any
                                                                        developments near to dwellings.
                                                                            It’s not all depressing and neighbourhood wars though
                                                                        – technological advances and legislation are working to
                                                                        help. Acoustical engineers are finding ways to reduce noise
                                                                        in hospitals, prisons and schools, while road surfaces are
                                                                        constantly refined. Laws are cracking down on building
                                                                        codes, pub-noise, car stereos and mufflers, while anti-noise
                                                                        groups are proposing bans on car alarms, leaf blowers and
as rock concerts and iPod use that can cause hearing loss               setting time frames for construction work and rubbish
and-or tinnitus. On the other hand there is environmental               collection.
noise caused by road or aircraft traffic which can trigger                  We can help control noise where we live by paying
stress responses.                                                       attention to designing good dwellings with improved
   Long term exposure to environmental noise, especially                construction and being considerate of our neighbours
at night, causes chronic disturbance of the natural                     by limiting sounds we make outdoors – not using
sleep pattern – even if we don’t stir from our slumber.                 loudspeakers on decks or with windows open and shutting
Neurosis, hysteria, anxiety, stress, nausea, aggression,                off car alarms and car-lock beeps.
argumentativeness and social conflict are just a few of the                 Now worried that a snoring spouse may shorten your
emotional problems linked to uncontrolled noise.                        lifespan? Try some earplugs – there’s no evidence yet you’ll
   According to a 2004 study published in the British                   live longer but at least you’ll sleep better.
Medical Journal, people living near the Schiphol Airport in

                                                cover story continued
                                                     Three quarters of those surveyed who listen to music regularly said it
                                                 sounds better louder (above the safe level where it still sounds good). Many
                                                 also said they wouldn’t wear ear plugs because they believed they affect
                                                 sound quality and didn’t want to look uncool.
                                                     “We have a significant challenge ahead of us,” says Mr Sivaraj. “Given the
                                                 serious health and social consequences of hearing impairment, its increasing
                                                 prevalence is a real cause for concern.
                                                     “Preventing hearing loss should become a national health priority
otherwise a considerable portion of health funding will be spent on hearing loss rehabilitation and providing hearing aids.
The allocated funding will never be sufficient to fulfil everyone’s hearing needs,” he says.

The Auckland Disability Law is a free community legal
service in the Auckland region aiming to help disabled
people access legal services and increase awareness
of disability law. For more info go to or call 09 257 5140.
                                                                    (See the full list on
                                                                                                                         Lip-reading would be an advantage
                                                                                                                         Take earplugs at the very least
                                                                                                                         Boisterous but not too bad
                                                                                                                         Comfortable conversation
                                                                                                                         The place to be and be heard

                                                                    In each issue of Vibrations we feature some of the restaurants
                                                                    that have been rated for noise by members of the public.

                                                                    If you want to rate a restaurant just answer seven simple questions
                                                                    relating to how sound levels Contact Christa at the NFD or
SHARE YOUR TALENTS                                                  visit for a rating sheet.
Webby Talents is a new forum and free video hosting                 Robbies
website for people with disabilities. By hosting a broad            Church Corner, Christchurch
base of videos that highlight the many talents of people
with disabilities, it seeks to “sweep away preconceived
ideas about people with disabilities”. To post a video on           Saints
the site go to or for more info             Hanmer Springs, Christchurch

                    LOUD SHIRT DAY
                     Register your workplace or                     QUIZ
                      organisation to take part in Loud Shirt
                      Day on Friday 19 September 2008
                    and raise money for the annual appeal
                  of The Hearing House and the Southern                                        We have three sets of Etymotic ER 20 ear
                   Cochlear Implant Paediatric Programme.                                      plugs to give away from Ear Buddies. These
                     On Loud Shirt Day everyone wears                                          earplugs reduce sound by 20dB across the
                      their loudest and brightest shirts to                                    range without muffling sound, so speech
                      work and donates to the charities                                        & music stay perfectly clear.
          dedicated to enable deaf children get cochlear                                       For more information see
implants. To register go to                                  

Going to a gym may be harmful for our ears, according to            Question:
a study from George Mason University in Virginia, USA.
The blaring music is so loud that it can become dangerous.          What portion of all types of hearing
The study recorded noise levels that were generally                 loss is attributable to exposure to
between 100 and 110dB, which are 30 to 40dB above the               excessive noise and loud music?
recommended levels.
                                                                    Please send your name, address, contact number and the
THE BIONIC EAR’S 30TH BIRTHDAY                                      answer to: Vibrations Quiz, c/- The NFD, PO Box 37729,
After three decades since its Australian inventor was
                                                                    Parnell, Auckland.
told he was mad, the bionic ear has helped 120,000 deaf
people around the world to hear. The bionic ear was first
successfully implanted at Melbourne’s Royal Victorian Eye
and Ear Hospital on August 1, 1978 in Rod Saunders who                 WINNER
had lost his hearing in a car crash.                                       OUR $20 TELEPHONE DONATION WINNER

PUFFING LINKED TO HEARING LOSS                                      Congratulations to Matthew & Megan McCulley from
                                                                    Ashburton who are the recent lucky winners of $1000
Smoking is a risk factor in the development of age-related
                                                                    worth of vouchers from House of Travel. As part of the NFD’s
hearing loss, one of the largest ever studies into risk factors
                                                                    fundraising efforts, all people who donate $20 to the foundation
for hearing loss has found. The study by the University of
                                                                    through the ongoing telemarketing programme, go into a draw to
Antwerp concluded that people who smoke regularly for
                                                                    win $1000 of vouchers. To make a donation, please call
               more than one year had worse hearing than            0900 66610, 0900 66620, or 0900 66650 (for $10, $20 or $50).
                   those who had never smoked and that
                     the more you smoke the greater the
                                                                  DISCLAIMER: Vibrations aims to share views and opinions from a broad range of people and
                     severity of hearing loss could be.           organisations on matters affecting deaf and hearing impaired New Zealanders. The stories that
                                                                  appear in this publication are not necessarily the views held by the NFD.
                                                                  NFD member groups are:
                                                                  • Hearing Association of NZ • NZ Federation for Deaf Children Inc • NZ Audiological
                                                                  Society • NZ Acoustical Society Inc • Deafness Research Foundation • NZ Society of
                                                                  Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery

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